I saw this article recently about the SI joint with a nice, incendiary title, but it brings up some important food for thought for anyone working with clients or patients.
I've got a lot of experience working with SIJ pain and preventing SIJ pain -- for patients and clients, and for myself. There is a lot that is unknown, and a lot of information out there that is contentious on this subject. And, to be fair, back pain in general shows up differently, responds to intervention differently, and is generally complex in nature.
I do think, though, that medical professionals have a responsibility to educate clients and assuage fear, and often we instead fear monger (whether consciously or unconsciously), either by creating inaccurate understandings of the body or by allowing them to persist. I have been guilty of this, for sure. Sometimes it is simply easier to not go down the rabbit hole of trying to reset misconceptions, but that is really no excuse. Our words matter. They have been shown to impact the pain experience of a patient.
No matter what a clinician believes to be the source of pain about the SI joint, certain pain patterns are typically deemed sacroiliac in nature. This type of pain shows up in a lot of people, and certainly in many people that practice yoga. In my experience, there are a lot of effective strategies that can be employed to address SIJ pain, and a lot of variety in what works. There is also a great deal that a person can do for themselves to diminish or prevent this pain, but it requires education, awareness, and enough knowledge about the resiliency of the body and the way pain works to not be afraid of movement.
Fear of movement made my own SIJ pain so much worse a long time ago, and when I let that fear go, life got so much better. This is especially true in yoga asana practice, where you can do an internet search and be "should-ed" into stillness by all the opinions out there about dangerous movements for the SI joint.
If have pain you'd like help addressing, or are a yoga teacher or practitioner that is confused about this topic in yoga, get in touch <3.